Why Winter is the Best Time of Year for LASIK

Why Winter is the Best Time of Year for LASIKWinter in Minnesota can be, challenging. Freezing temperatures and feet of snow can lead a lot of us to want to hibernate until spring. But if you are a candidate for LASIK, you have something to look forward to prior to the warmer months. Before you hide out for the season, check out these great benefits to having LASIK in winter.

Heal before spring and summer

With the arrival of spring and summer comes endless activities and events, but some of these cannot be fully enjoyed while you are healing after LASIK. If you put LASIK off for too long this year, you may miss out on joining that soccer league, since physical activity should be limited immediately following LASIK. Or maybe you have a vacation planned to the beach? Sand and sea are off limits while you heal. And who has room in their purse or suit jacket for eye drops when it comes time for wedding season? When you choose LASIK in the winter, you can rest assured you will be fully healed before warm-weather activities are calling your name.

Less exposure to outdoor elements

Winter is reserved for fireplaces, blankets, and basically anything indoors. Because of this, we are fortunate enough to avoid many environmental and seasonal outdoor factors. Being outside in the spring often means encountering allergies that are generally more irritating to your eyes when you wear contact lenses. Additionally, with summer sun comes a distinct glare, which can be particularly bothersome to patients who just underwent LASIK surgery. A wintertime LASIK procedure dodges these and many more seasonal nuisances.

HSAs + FSAs are replenished in January

Flexible health spending accounts are a great resource when contemplating the cost factor of LASIK. Generally, HSAs and FSAs not only cover LASIK surgery, but they also can typically be used to foot the bill for your post-operative eye drops. And the best part? Most plans and accounts are fully funded at the beginning of the year, making this time of year especially appealing for LASIK.

New year, new vision

Oftentimes, resolutions are challenging to follow through with. But undergoing LASIK surgery is one of the easiest new year promises to keep. The procedure itself is usually no more than 10-15 minutes and recovery time is minimal and virtually effortless. In fact, oftentimes patients can return to work the next day, and resume most activities within a week!

Surviving the winter can be tough. But giving yourself the gift of vision doesn’t have to be. The expert surgeons at St. Cloud LASIK are readily available to see you for your FREE LASIK screening where you will learn many details of your proposed procedure. Start the new year off right with this life-changing procedure at St. Cloud LASIK.

 

2018 Gift of Vision Winner

For many people, poor vision clarity and the need to use glasses or contacts is a minor frustration. For 2018 Gift of Vision Giveaway winner Stacy Hurrle, poor vision has frustrated her since kindergarten and has been a constant challenge in enjoying her favorite activities.

“I’ve had to wear glasses since I was in kindergarten,” she says. “I came home one day and told my mom, ‘I can’t see the chalkboard.’ That’s when my vision was first tested, and I already had really poor vision.”

But instead of stabilizing and needing glasses with a minor correction, Stacy’s vision continued to get worse. “Growing up, they kept deciding to test me for diabetes because my vision was getting so bad. They were even concerned that I was going to go blind!” Stacy can laugh about the situation now, but it was a major challenge growing up.

When Stacy was old enough to transition to contact lenses, activities were easier but still came with challenges. “I never could wear my glasses during volleyball or softball because my peripheral vision was so bad. Contact lenses helped out a lot, but even contacts were frustrating,” she says. And those challenges continue with her activities today: “Playing softball at night, my contact lenses make me see halos around the lights, and my depth perception is always just a little off. Also, when I wakeboard or jet-ski, the spray gets in my eyes and causes my contacts to get all foggy and blurry. It’s no fun at all!”

2018 Gift of Vision Giveaway winner Stacy Hurrle

Because her vision prescription was so bad, Stacy assumed she was not a candidate for LASIK:  “My eye doctor told me that I just wasn’t a candidate, and that was pretty disappointing.” But a conversation with a friend changed everything. “I told one of my friends that I wasn’t a candidate for LASIK. ‘No way!,’ he told me. ‘My vision is just as bad as yours, and I was a candidate for LASIK. You need to go and talk to St. Cloud LASIK. They can tell you if you’re a candidate. If I was a candidate, you could be too!’”

This encouragement from her friend also reinforced a lot of other positive recommendations Stacy received from other friends about LASIK in general, and LASIK at St. Cloud LASIK specifically. “I had about 10 friends tell me how great their LASIK procedure was, and it made me really excited to see if I was a candidate.”

With her new hope and confidence, Stacy called and set up a free screening with the St. Cloud LASIK team. “Missy and the entire team were so helpful, friendly, and informative. I could tell they were really passionate about the work, and that made me feel comfortable. Missy took a lot of measurements and explained in great detail that I was a candidate. My vision is definitely bad, but lots of other measurements, like the thickness of my cornea, show that I’m a good candidate. I felt very comfortable with the information I received and how carefully they looked at my eyes to make sure I was a candidate.”

It was after her screening that Stacy heard about the Gift of Vision Giveaway. “Missy told me about their holiday giveaway, and asked if I wanted to sign up. ‘Sure,’ I thought, but I really didn’t expect to win. So when Missy called a couple weeks later and told me I had won, I was excited and surprised and really happy!”

When we asked Stacy what free LASIK means for her, she had a lot to say: “I’m just so excited to be able to wake up in the morning and not need to hunt for my glasses. I’m excited to be active without my contact lenses and all the challenges they create. I want to be able to pack for vacations and enjoy time away without packing glasses, contacts, solution, and everything else I’ve needed for my whole life just to see. It is going to be amazing and such a blessing.”

We’re very excited for Stacy to receive her free LASIK procedure in January thanks to the Gift of Vision Giveaway. And we’re excited because Stacy is planning a trip to Jamaica in March, so she will be able to enjoy her new, clear vision right away in a place full of beauty, water, and fun activities. “I can’t wait to tell you all about my first vacation without glasses or contacts,” she says. “It’s going to be a huge change, and I’m excited.”

Thanks to Stacy and to all the people who entered the Gift of Vision Giveaway in 2018. We feel blessed to serve the St. Cloud area with our comprehensive vision program, and the Gift of Vision is one small way we’re happy to help people have a great holiday and a great LASIK experience. We’ll definitely share more about Stacy’s LASIK experience and first vacation without glasses or contacts in the months ahead!

A Creative Way to Pay for LASIK


LASIK is a life-changing experience for many people, giving them new clarity for their vision and a lifestyle free of glasses and contacts. But let’s face it—LASIK is also a large financial investment that can be a barrier for many people. That’s why we’re always excited to learn and share creative ways our patients are finding to help save money for LASIK in order to invest in one of the most valuable things in life—clear vision.

Today, we’re excited to share a bit about the story and experience of one of our recent LASIK patients—Jason Szafranski. His story is inspiring to us both because of how LASIK is benefitting his life and vision, but also because of how he worked and saved to make this investment in himself and make LASIK a reality.

Like many of our patients, Jason wore glasses for nearly his entire life. “I’ve worn glasses since 3rd grade, and contacts never really worked for me. In my 20s and early 30s, I always thought about LASIK, but due to other things in life, LASIK was always pushed to the back burner,” Jason says. Like many people, the cost of LASIK was one reason Jason continued to push it off to a later time.

A few years ago, Jason began finding time to regularly donate plasma as a simple way to save some extra money. “My schedule allowed me to donate plasma regularly, twice a week. I thought it would be a great way to save up and afford some extra things in life,” he says. At the start of his donations, Jason didn’t have a specific plan to use his savings for LASIK. But the way the savings grew helped him consider larger possibilities. “They paid me for each donation by putting the money on a debit card. I didn’t check the balance for about 9 months, and when I finally looked at how much I had saved, I was pleasantly surprised.”

The payoff? Jason has found that he’s consistently able to save over $1,000 every 6 months through plasma donations. By saving up consistently for 1-2 years, Jason was able to consider a lot of choices for how to use his savings.

“I actually donate plasma right across the street from St. Cloud Eye Clinic, so I see the sign every time I drive by,” he says. When he realized how much he had saved up, Jason decided to get his free LASIK screening and see if he was a candidate. “Everything about St. Cloud Eye Clinic has been incredible. The education, the medical exams, the recommendations, getting scheduled. Everything has been great. I knew right after my screening that the absolute best possible investment of my plasma savings was to get rid of my glasses and get LASIK.”

Jason’s LASIK procedure was a huge success, and he was able to make it happen through creative, consistent savings from plasma donation. He has some specific advice for people thinking about LASIK.

“We’re all on different budgets, and LASIK seems expensive. I get it, and that’s what held me back for a long time,” he says. “But glasses and contacts are not cheap! LASIK is basically the same cost as a couple years of glasses or contacts. But with LASIK, you eliminate the vision problem and save money over time. My advice? Do it, find a way to make it work. LASIK should be a priority over buying a boat or a vacation. It’s changed my life.”

We’re thankful for the chance to help Jason see the world more clearly with LASIK, and stories like his continue to inspire us. Creative ideas like plasma donation savings are another way to make LASIK an option for any budget, and we hope it inspires more people to consider LASIK rather than waiting months or years. Because, as Jason says, he has only one regret:

“My only regret with my LASIK procedure is waiting so long to make it happen. Don’t wait until you’re in your 40s like I did. I took so much for granted with my vision, but not anymore. My LASIK experience ranks up there as one of the best things I’ve ever experienced.”

If you’re ready to change your life through LASIK, call us to schedule your free LASIK screening and see if you’re a candidate.

Lori’s Life After LASIK

Today, we’re thrilled to be checking in with our 2017 Gift of Vision winner, Lori Messinger! After receiving her free LASIK procedure from St. Cloud LASIK, she can now share her overall experience with us and her hopes for the coming years.

“I’m just very excited to not have glasses—it’s so freeing. After wearing glasses for so long, it still catches me by surprise sometimes that I don’t have to deal with them anymore!”

In working with the St. Cloud LASIK team, Lori elected to utilize an approach to the LASIK procedure known as “blended vision.” For blended vision, the doctor uses the advanced technology options and measurements within LASIK to give patients the widest range of clear vision, so the patient can see things at both near distance and far distance as clearly as possible.

“Dr. Rice’s recommendations were wonderful,” says Lori when reflecting on the decision she made for her procedure. “They explained my options really well, and now I can not only see more clearly overall, but I do have the ability to focus on things both near me and a long ways away. It took a bit of getting used to, but it’s amazing how well I can see!”

Lori notes that she was a little nervous the day of her procedure, but everything went well and she was very comfortable thanks to the staff. “The entire procedure only took 20 minutes, and the team talked me through the entire process,” she says. “What was really helpful is that they knew everything I was experiencing and told me what to expect. That made it really easy.”

After a quick nap following her procedure, she was able to get back to most of her normal daily activities that evening, only four hours after her procedure. “After that first day, I will say that there was some eye dryness that was a little difficult, but the doctors told me exactly what to do about it, and it’s much better now. My vision was so much better just four hours after my procedure, and now every week I notice it’s still improving.”

Lori is glad about the timing of her procedure as well. “Winter was a good time to get the procedure done – now I’m ready for the spring and summer seasons, riding my motorcycle with just my goggles (and no glasses), camping, and all the things I love to do outdoors. My husband is going to be so jealous!”

As we often hear, Lori only has one real regret about her LASIK procedure: “You know, I just kick myself for not getting LASIK years ago. 20 years ago when people my age were first getting LASIK, I just didn’t think it would make a difference in my life. Boy was I wrong.”

“All these years, my life and self-image were defined by my glasses and my vision. In thinking about my experience, I wonder how I would have viewed myself, my self-image, if I had gotten LASIK 20 years ago. I think it would have been even more wonderful.”

As far as the team at St. Cloud LASIK, Lori had a great experience: “I would highly recommend the entire team, everyone that worked with me. They were professional, very thorough, and very quick to respond to any of my concerns. Being local here in St. Cloud is a big deal for me, and it could not have been a better experience.”

“LASIK is a big investment,” Lori says. “I feel blessed to have won the Gift of Vision, but now having experienced my new vision through LASIK, I am amazed at how valuable it really is to me. LASIK is worth every penny, it’s a life-changing moment.”

We’re happy that the Gift of Vision has given Lori the vision of her dreams, and we know her clear vision will be a blessing for years to come. Again, thanks to everyone who signed up for the Gift of Vision, and we’ll plan to connect with Lori again in the fall to hear about her first summer of clear LASIK vision.

Read our first blog about Lori here.

Meet Lori, Winner of the 2017 Gift of Vision Giveaway!

At St. Cloud Eye Clinic and St. Cloud LASIK, we are blessed to help create clearer vision for many of our patients. Clear vision is an incredible gift, and for people suffering from blurry, cloudy vision or the limitations of glasses and contacts, that gift can be priceless. For 2017 Gift of Vision winner Lori Mensinger, glasses and contacts have been part of her daily experience for her entire life.

“I’ve had pretty bad vision since elementary school,” Lori explains. “It got progressively worse after I finished school and entered the workforce. I tried contacts for a while, but they just didn’t work for me.”

Although she had heard about LASIK years ago, Lori reached an age where she assumed she was “too old” for LASIK. One day at work, she was talking with her coworkers, and one of them told her, “you’re never too old for LASIK!” The coworker recommended St. Cloud LASIK, so Lori gave us a call.

Lori’s coworker was correct, and we are grateful for the recommendation! Lori came in for a free screening with our team at St. Cloud LASIK, and after a medical examination and discussion with the doctor, we were thrilled to tell Lori she was a candidate for LASIK. She was very excited, and even more excited to enter the Gift of Vision Giveaway.

“I’m a person who never wins anything,” Lori says, laughing. “I had already decided to move ahead with LASIK whether I won or not, and I was very surprised when I received the call that I had won free LASIK. I was actually a little skeptical—is this really happening? Is this a joke?”

Lori quickly realized it wasn’t a joke, and she would be receiving a complimentary LASIK procedure from St. Cloud LASIK. “I was excited, but I had to be quiet at work. I just kind of snuck around to the other offices to tell my coworkers I had won!”

“It was really great working with Missy and Dr. Rice to get ready for my LASIK procedure. I had a lot of questions, and they took the time to answer all of them. They were also very accommodating of my schedule in getting everything set up.”

“After my LASIK procedure, I’ll be able to go outside this winter without my glasses getting all fogged up. I’m excited to go camping this spring, and to be able to garden this summer without constantly having to push my glasses up with my shoulder. It will be amazing to be free of my glasses after all these years.”

We’re excited to see how LASIK changes Lori’s life! St. Cloud LASIK has helped thousands of patients see more clearly with LASIK, and our 2017 Gift of Vision winner Lori Mensinger will soon join that list.

Thanks to all of our 2017 Gift of Vision entrants, and be sure to check back in the coming weeks to hear about Lori’s vision after her LASIK procedure.

Excited, Nervous and Now Enjoying Life without Glasses

Contacts were no longer the best fit for Andrea, who works in IT, is a mother of a toddler and loves living life to the fullest. Her LASIK story: 

My experience with St. Cloud Eye Clinic was great! The welcome service I received when I made my appointment was wonderful. I was nervous going in for my consult as I didn’t know if I would be a candidate, but Missy clearly walked me through everything. She showed me around the facility and walked me through exactly what to expect as part of my procedure. As a result of my consult, I felt very safe booking my procedure, and I was very excited!

The day of my procedure I was really nervous. I kept wondering if I was making the right decision. Missy and the other nurses helped calm my nerves. They explained everything in a way I could understand. Then Dr. Rice would explain what he was doing with each eye and what the next step in the process was going to be. When they say LASIK only takes 15-20 seconds per eye—they aren’t kidding. I don’t even think I had enough time for my nerves to process what was going on and I was already done.

After LASIK, I have enjoyed putting on regular sunglasses, being able to get up in the middle of the night with my 20 month old and see everything that he needs. I like that my eyes are not dry like they were with contacts and overall just that I can see clear!

I have had co-workers ask about LASIK and I always say it’s the best thing I could have done. My life has changed for the better because of LASIK. I can enjoy riding four-wheelers with my sunglasses and not having to worry about wearing glasses or contacts to see where I’m going. I don’t have to worry about losing or breaking glasses. LASIK has been a blessing as it was nice to be in Mexico shortly after the procedure and be able to swim and see without glasses!

Coaching Simplified: Nico’s LASIK Story

For Nico Velazquez, LASIK was easy.

As a CrossFit trainer and gymnastics coach, Nico has experienced the freedom of LASIK from St. Cloud Eye Clinic.

Nico was an active athlete throughout high school and college, and he didn’t seem to have problems with his glasses or contacts. When he finished competing and began focusing on his studies, he could not tolerate his contacts anymore. “They always left a dry feeling in my eye and even when I wasn’t wearing them it felt like they were in,” Nico says.

When Nico began doing CrossFit and coaching gymnastics, he started to have trouble with his glasses. They would frequently get sweat on them or get knocked off his face and broken. “Let’s just say my glasses spent more time on the ground than they did my face,” Nico says.

After over three years of consideration, Nico decided to get LASIK so he wouldn’t need to keep replacing his glasses. With as frequently as he needed to replace his glasses, LASIK was a worthwhile solution.

Nico came to St. Cloud Eye Clinic for his vision correction procedure, and he says his experience was great. Dr. Bradley Anderson and the St. Cloud Eye Clinic team was straight-forward and gave him all the information he needed for the procedure. Nico says he had clear instructions that were easy to follow. The procedure ran smoothly, and the recovery was quick. Nico says getting LASIK was one of the easiest things he has ever done.

After his procedure, Nico has enjoyed not needing to find his glasses when he wakes up in the morning. “Before LASIK my first instinct every day was to reach for my glasses and put them on,” Nico says. “Now that isn’t something I have to worry about.”

Nico has enjoyed how LASIK has benefited his workouts and coaching because he does not need to worry about what he should do with his glasses. He can spot during his athletes’ workouts without anything happening to his glasses. He says his glasses always got in the way, and now he doesn’t need to worry about them.

Since getting LASIK, Nico says he feels like he is no longer holding back. The team at St. Cloud Eye Clinic is honored that Nico came to us to give him clear and natural vision that allows him to coach and train without the hassle of contacts or glasses.

Life After LASIK: Dean’s Success Story

Since receiving free LASIK as a part of St. Cloud Eye Clinic’s 2016 Gift of Vision giveaway, Dean Angermeier has enjoyed seeing how his LASIK procedure has positively influenced all areas of his life.

Dean’s vision has been consistently clear and sharp after receiving LASIK with Dr. Richard Lucius. Dean says he enjoys waking up in the morning with clear vision and seeing his beautiful wife. His mornings are easier with him not having to deal with the hassle of contact lenses.

His newly clear vision has helped Dean in many areas of his life including playing racquetball with his son, seeing his computer better at work, and seeing road signs more clearly. With his clearer vision, he enjoys “everything,” he says.

Reflecting on his LASIK procedure at St. Cloud Eye Clinic, Dean says the experience was “very easy and quick.” He says the Dr. Lucius walked him through what to expect and answered questions. The St. Cloud Eye Clinic team was committed to helping him feel 100 percent comfortable with doing the procedure. Dean had multiple exam visits before the procedure to ensure everything was just right for the procedure.

During surgery, Dr. Lucius and staff continually reassured Dean and explained what was happening throughout the ten-minute procedure. “It was comforting to hear the doctor and staff talking to me each step of the way,” Dean says.

The first thing Dean noticed after surgery was how quickly his vision improved. He says the results were immediate after surgery.

Dean encourages others to get LASIK, and he thinks there is no reason to not get the procedure.

“You would update your cell phone for a better model,” Dean says. “Why not update your vision with LASIK by St. Cloud LASIK?”

Looking back, Dean says his only regret is that he didn’t get LASIK years ago. “I have been stuck with my flip phone for too long,” he says.

The Latest Technology for a Life-Changing Experience

St. Cloud Eye Clinic is thrilled to announce that we have acquired yet another industry-leading laser technology to assist with both cataract and LASIK surgery. We have integrated the Ziemer Z8 laser into our facility for an even more seamless surgery experience.

Because we are committed to using only the latest technology to care for your vision, our surgeons are able to provide customized, high-quality care to every single patient. It is our mission to always deliver the best solution based on what’s best for each patient.

At St. Cloud Eye Clinic, we understand that your vision is a priceless and precious gift. We take great care in creating or restoring your sight so you can enjoy life with reduced dependence on contact lenses or glasses. In order to ensure that your experience at our facility positively impacts your vision for a lifetime, we are committed to continue offering only the best and latest technology.

To schedule a free consultation and see how St. Cloud Eye Clinic’s technology can enhance your vision, call us at (302) 251‑1432.

Congratulations to Our 2016 Gift of Vision Winner!

St. Cloud Eye Clinic is happy to announce Dean Angermeier as the recipient of our 4th annual Gift of Vision LASIK procedure.

As someone who has worn contact lenses for nearly 35 years, Dean has always wondered about getting LASIK. Dean’s seasonal allergies and his passion for underwater sports made life with contact lenses inconvenient and sometimes painful.

His friend’s LASIK success story and his wife’s encouragement led Dean to take the step of looking into LASIK. “My wife has pushed me to get LASIK so I can avoid dealing with the lenses, the solutions, the cleaning, and the irritation to my eyes during the time of allergies,” he says.

St. Cloud Eye Clinic suggested that Dean enter the Gift of Vision contest, and he did so without the expectation of winning. He is both surprised and excited to receive the gift of clear vision.

“Wow,” Dean says. “This is the best Christmas present ever!”

After hearing that he won the 2016 Gift of Vision LASIK, Dean could not wait to tell his family and co-workers the good news. Though Dean is still in the beginning stages of the LASIK process, he says the staff and surgeons at St. Cloud Eye Clinic have put his mind at ease about the procedure.

Dean looks forward to pursuing his passions of swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving without the hassle of contact lenses. Waking up in the morning and not having to flush out his eyes with solution to be able to see excites Dean. “Not having to travel with all of my spare lenses, solutions and such… freedom,” he says.